Archive for: December, 2010

Happy New Year!!

Dec 31 2010 Published by under Synaptic Misfires


Sci's out happy new yearing. Like ya do.

In the meantime, I wish to know. What are YOUR New Year's Resolutions? Do you make any? Do you self-righteously NOT make any and want to tell other people why they shouldn't?

Sci always ends up making some. Last year's involved getting my PhD. And I DID IT. Though I guess I was about due for it anyway. ๐Ÿ™‚

This year, Sci's New Year's Resolutions involve very important things like getting freakin' publications and grants out the door. I wish they were more exciting, but there it is.

What are yours?

7 responses so far

Bouncing Babies Betray Awareness of Others' Beliefs

Dec 29 2010 Published by under Behavioral Neuro, Neuroscience

...if only I could have found synonyms for "awareness" and "adult" or "other person" that started with life is eternally unfulfilled now.

Today's post on babies is dedicated to Glendon Mellow of the Flying Trilobite, who just yesterday welcomed a bouncing TriloBoy! Congratulations to Glendon!!! That's going to be one amazingly awesome family. ๐Ÿ™‚


So let's talk about the ability to recognize other people's beliefs, and other people's point of view. It's a skill that most people think other people lack entirely (especially around the holidays, it seems). But it turns out that all humans can understand what other people believe. And not just adult humans...BABIES.

(Though I still think the planet would be a better place if we ALL had one of these. Fire at will.) Kovacs et al. "The Social Sense: Susceptibility to Othersโ€™ Beliefs in Human Infants and Adults" Science, 2010.

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4 responses so far

Books I've read this year, Edition...THREE

Dec 28 2010 Published by under Uncategorized

So three years ago now, Sci made a New Year's Resolution to read 100 books in a year. That's a book every three days. I was actually doing very well until I started a blog in the May of that year. That kind of tanked that project, though I still managed to read over 60 books.

The year after that, my resolutions were more modest, 30 books. I didn't make it. I read 29. But I still felt pretty solid. That list is here.

And this year, I wanted to continue the tradition. I didn't have many expectations for myself, I DID write a dissertation, after all, but I didn't do as badly as I thought I would. I even passed 30!!
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20 responses so far

Don't like angry faces? We have oxytocin for that.

I'm sure anyone who reads this blog is by now well aware of the many roles of oxytocin: In men, women, in sex, and especially in emotionally related things like pair bonding, trust, and facial recognition related to emotional states. People who just call oxytocin the "love molecule" don't get the HALF of it. Oxytocin has so many roles and so much influence that it really seems like a bit much to try and pin it down to a one-word definition.

Sci was particularly interested in the role of oxytocin in facial recognition, because it's NOT facial recognition like you would normally think of, just recognizing a face as a face or a face as THE face of a specific person. No, oxytocin appears to be related more to the recognition in a face of a certain social stimuli, in this case, the social stimuli of angry or happy faces. Evans et al. "Oxytocin Decreases Aversion to Angry Faces in an Associative Learning Task" Neuropsychopharmacology, 2010.


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3 responses so far

The Blogsphere is alive to the sound of PODCASTS

Dec 26 2010 Published by under Uncategorized

Sci has noticed that a lot of scientists tend to listen to a lot of music or podcasts. Much as I'm sure we all KNOW that science is all glamor and cocaine and hookers and wild nights of crazy exciting science...yeah, let's not lie. A lot of science is tedious, and a truly astonishing amount of it involves slicing various items into extraordinarily thin sections. Sci would have much more fun if we were allowed to blend things instead.

Like this!

But sadly, Sci spends way more time slicing than blending.

And during the slicing, she listens to a lot of podcasts. And so every year I like to throw the ones I'm listening to out into the aether, and take recommendations for new ones, in the hope of turning up something new and interesting.

So here are Sci's recommendations:

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8 responses so far

Friday Weird Science: A Festive New Way to Dye Holiday Lingerie!

Dec 24 2010 Published by under Friday Weird Science

After all, what is more festive than candy striped underwear, right? Well, HERE is how to create your own, entirely without the trouble of dyeing, or going out and buying the stuff. All you need is white underwear, and a LOT of these: Cilliers and de Beer. "The case of the red lingerie - chromhidrosis revisited." Dermatology, 1999.

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3 responses so far

Fat rats and cocaine

Every so often, Sci comes across a study that at first looks incredibly exciting...and then kind of becomes a bit of a let down. Not because it was a BAD study, mind, but because I want MORE. Thus was this study.

So let's talk about high fat diets, and let's talk about coke. But mostly coke. Wellman, et al. "Impairment of acquisition of cocaine self-administration in rats maintained on a high-fat diet" Pharmacology, Biochemistry, and Behavior, 2007.

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8 responses so far

Sorry y'all...

Dec 20 2010 Published by under Uncategorized post today. Sci is sick. The good money is on strep. Will post when better.

3 responses so far

Get your Holiday Scicurious Swag!

Dec 19 2010 Published by under Terrible Poetry

I promise it's the only plug.


See that little link on the sidebar for my cafepress store? I've got cool stuff there. Everything from Scicurious messenger bags to mugs to beer steins to THONGS. And of course there are lots of tshirts! It's all Sci stuff, and it all could be YOURS! Think of how awesome you and your friends could look. How...Scicurious!

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Welcome our newest Scientopian: Dr. Becca!

Dec 18 2010 Published by under Uncategorized

We have a new Scientopian!

Head over and say hello to Dr. Becca, who will be joining us with her blog "Fumbling Toward the Tenure Track"!

3 responses so far

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